The Solitude of Prime Numbers

The Solitude of Prime Numbers

3.57 (33,354 ratings by Goodreads)
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A bestselling international literary sensation about whether a "prime number" can ever truly connect with someone else A prime number can only be divided by itself or by one--it never truly fits with another. Alice and Mattia, both "primes," are misfits who seem destined to be alone. Haunted by childhood tragedies that mark their lives, they cannot reach out to anyone else. When Alice and Mattia meet as teenagers, they recognize in each other a kindred, damaged spirit. But the mathematically gifted Mattia accepts a research position that takes him thousands of miles away, and the two are forced to separate. Then a chance occurrence reunites them and forces a lifetime of concealed emotion to the surface. Like Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," this is a stunning meditation on loneliness, love, and the weight of childhood experience that is set to become a universal classic. Watch a Videoshow more

Product details

  • Hardback | 271 pages
  • 142.24 x 213.36 x 33.02mm | 408.23g
  • Pamela Dorman Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0670021482
  • 9780670021482
  • 601,995

Review quote

"A mesmerizing portrait of a young man and woman whose injured natures draw them together over the years and inevitably pull them apart. Mr. Giordano remarkably and movingly portrays the hesitant groping toward warmth that works beneath the pair's emotional disabilities. The author works with piercing subtlety. An exquisite rendering of what one might call feelings at the subatomic level." -Richard Eder for "The New York Times" "The melancholy that hangs over "The Solitude of Prime Numbers" is seductive and unnerving. A-." -"Entertainment Weekly" "Giordano's passionate evocation of being young and in despair will resonate strongly with readers." -"USA Today" "The elegant and fiercely intelligent debut novel by 27-year-old physicist Paolo Giordano, "The Solitude of Prime Numbers" revolves around Mattia and Alice, friends since high school-'twin primes, alone and lost, close but not close enough to really touch each other, ' wherein resides the seductive enchantment of this singular love story." -"Elle" "This compelling debut shows a remarkable sensitivity and maturity in the depiction of its damaged soulmates. A fragile, unconventional love story by a talent to watch." -"Kirkus" "A deeply touching debut. Beautiful and reads easily, due in party to the almost seamless translation. An intimate psychological portrait of two 'prime numbers'-together alone and alone together." -"Booklist" "Surprising, intimate and deeply moving, "The Solitude of Prime Numbers" takes the readers on a hypnotic journey through an unexpected love affair. Paolo Giordano writes with grace and elegance of gentle but damaged characters, using inventive language to create a story unlike anything in recent fiction. This is everything a debut novel should be and leaves one longing for the books that will follow." -John Boyne, author of "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" "Paul Giordano is an expert on losshow more

Rating details

33,354 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 21% (6,854)
4 36% (12,000)
3 28% (9,439)
2 11% (3,710)
1 4% (1,351)

Our customer reviews

Wow. You know, I haven't run across much contemporary literature that renders me completely speechless after I put it down. This book is... wow. Let me start with Alice. My heart broke reading just the beginning of her story. With sharp, clear writing Paolo Giordano gave description of places, of feelings, of fears and then he ripped my heart out with an event that tore Alice's life apart. It's important to remember that not all disorders begin with the "typical" traumatic experiences and Giordano gut-punched me with that reminder at the beginning of Alice's story. And then there's Mattia. Sweet, smart Mattia. How could such a smart boy possibly go wrong? It's impossible not to empathize with him and understand his actions, his abuse toward himself. Over and over I felt my heart being wrung from the concern I felt, the desire to reach in to the pages of this book and just haul this character out of it and give him a hug. The secondary characters in this book were powerful as well. Every character held so much intricate detail. My mind is spinning right now and all I can think is.. people need to read this book. This book doesn't need me singing its praises. It stands firmly on its own two feet and is one of the most powerful, masterful debut books I've more
by Lydia Presley
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